“Minor Yom Kippur” [is] the name accustomed to the day afore Rosh Chodesh (“New Moon”), in that this day is advised as one of fasting, repentance, and address on the affinity of Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur Katan originated amid the Safed Kabbalists in the 16th aeon and is referred to by a adherent of Moses Cordovero, Abraham Galante, who states that it was a bounded custom in Safed for men, women, and schoolchildren to fast on this day and to absorb the accomplished day in atoning prayer, acknowledgment of sin, and flagellation.
There is no advertence to Yom Kippur Katan in the accepted Code of Jewish law, the Shulchan Arukh, but a after Halakhist, Joel Sirkes, in his annotation to Jacob ben Asher’s Tur, mentions it and as a aftereffect the day acquired article of a Halakhic basement and came to be empiric in communities with little affiliation to the Kabbalah. A cardinal of baby booklets were appear absolute the prayers and community of the day. Nowadays, Yom Kippur Katan has abundantly collapsed into disuse, yet the rite itself is of absorption for its admixture of Talmudic and Kabbalistic themes.
The Talmud (Hullin 60b) quotes an amazing animadversion of Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish that the he‑goat offered on Rosh Chodesh is alleged “a sin alms unto the Lord” because it is an amends for God Himself for accepting fabricated the moon abate than the sun. Arising out of this is the idea, bidding in the Rosh Chodesh liturgy, that Rosh Chodesh affords absolution for Israel’s sins.
There is a pre‑Safed advertence to bodies abnegation on the eve of Rosh Chodesh, back Rosh Chodesh is a accessory anniversary on which no abnegation is allowed. The crumbling and waxing of the moon became associated with the fate of Israel, which is compared in the Talmud to the moon. In the Kabbalah these account were interpreted so as to back the abstruseness of the banishment of the Shekhinah [God’s presence], brought about by the sins of Israel.
According to the article of the Sefirot [a kabbalistic angle of the all-powerful emanations], the sun represents Tiferet and the moon MaIkhut, the Shekhinah, appropriately the mythically answerable angle that the banishment of the Shekhinah from Her Spouse, the clash in the Sefirotic realm, is acquired by Israel’s sinfulness, and accord aloft will alone be absolutely adequate back Israel repents. Everything in the abundant catholic ball is arch up to the advancing of the Messiah. With the appearance of the Messiah the banishment of the “holy moon,” the Shekhinah, will be ended. The new moon is accustomed as affirmation of the approaching accretion of the Shekhinah from Her banishment but, on the day before, Yom Kippur Katan, there has to be prayer, fasting, and address in adjustment to acquisition amends for the sins committed during the antecedent ages and appropriately accelerate the redemption.
Excerpted with permission from The Jewish Religion: A Companion, Oxford University Press.
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